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What's Really Despicable? Rick Ungar, Obamacare, and Rick Santorum
By Jennifer Hartline
February 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Last week Forbes' contributor Rick Ungar indignantly labeled Rick Santorum a "despicable human being" for saying that Obamacare will result in rationed care based on usefulness and not on the dignity of every human life. Sorry, but when the government is in charge of health care, and new committees are created to make decisions about care vs. cost, it is only the most duped among us who will be confident in a bureaucrat's willingness to grant expensive medical care to the less-abled, the elderly, and even to children like Bella Santorum.WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - Forbes' contributor Rick Ungar had some very harsh words for Rick and Karen Santorum last week. In his column, "Rick Santorum's Despicable and Hurtful Health Care Lie", he blasted the Santorums for "scaring the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives" and said Rick was a "despicable human being."
Mr. Ungar believes the idea that disabled children might be denied care under Obama's health care law is so far-fetched as to be absurd, and thus the Santorum's concerns are the most egregious sort of fear-mongering imaginable. But the Santorums are hardly the only ones to see the writing on the wall, even if the language of the bill is tricky. When insurers in 34 states suddenly stopped offering child-only policies as a direct result of Obamacare in 2010, some states had to respond with legislation requiring them to continue selling such policies.
But just how far can all these requirements go and what happens when cost/profit meets disability/life expectancy? Which medicines and procedures will insurers be required to cover, and for what time frame, and for whom under what circumstances? These decisions will have to be made, and they'll be made by people whose motivation will likely be dollar signs and not patient care.
When the government is in charge of health care, and new committees are created to make decisions about care vs. cost, it is only the most duped among us who will be confident in a bureaucrat's willingness to grant expensive medical care to the less-abled, the elderly, and even to children like Bella Santorum.
Amidst all of Ungar's scathing insults was the following gem, just too good to pass up:
"However, when Rick Santorum tells us that the law would deny the right to life and the care needed to sustain that life to children like his own daughter, because such a child would be deemed to not be of 'sufficient use to society', he accuses the President, every member of Congress who supported the law, and every other supporter, such as myself, of being unfit to walk to this earth."
"Anyone is welcomed to disagree with my judgment as to whether the Affordable Care Act is a good or a bad law... But if you are going to accuse me of being willing to allow a child-or anyone else- to die because I would somehow deem her to be inconsequential to society, you'd really better be prepared to not only say that to my face but take the punishment that I promise you will follow." (emphasis mine)
Them's fightin' words, Mr. Ungar, and I'm delighted to hear you say it. We need more passionate pro-life citizens in America.
Naturally, I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to deny a child the right to life. I understand you to mean that you find it despicable to say that just because a child isn't "wanted" or wasn't "planned" that the child is inconsequential to society and can be destroyed by whatever means necessary. Certainly what you mean is that every child's life is precious and the adults have no right to say which children can live and which must die by our "choice."
Because surely you realize, Mr. Ungar, that children are killed every single day in our country precisely because they are deemed inconsequential to society. Worse, actually. They're considered enemies of freedom and prosperity. Worse still, they aren't even considered human. Their murders are sanctioned by the law and police power of the State, and millions of people -- not you, of course -- consider it a good thing, a moral thing, a necessary thing.
Let me make it clear, Mr. Ungar: If you are of the opinion that abortion is a legitimate and moral "choice" that should be protected by the laws of our nation, that is despicable. If you are willing to allow the child in the womb to be killed and call it a "right", that is despicable.
What you're doing in that case is exactly what you falsely accuse Rick Santorum of doing, except it's far, far worse. You are denying the child in the womb her humanity. You are calling the child an "it"; far less than merely inconsequential to society, you've made her a slave to someone else's power and self-interest; a "thing" to be eliminated in service to someone else and society at large.
I'm prepared to say that to your face, and President Obama's, Nancy Pelosi's, and anyone else's. Do not boast about your appreciation of the value of human life and your unimpeachable virtue in protecting children if you continue to sanction the deliberate destruction of babies in the womb and call it freedom and "choice." I'm not impressed by your indignation. There is nothing more despicable than denying the humanity of the child in the womb.
It's also arrogant to try to school the Santorums on the realities of medical care for disabled children. Rick and Karen could spend hours telling us of all the times doctors told them to just let Bella die, and how one doctor actually sent them home with a prescription for a lethal dose of morphine without telling them the dose was lethal; or the doctors who refused to even call Bella by her name.
They could recount the numerous times they've had to fight and demand that Bella receive the medical care any "normal" child would get. No doubt parents all over America could tell similar stories of the callous and inhumane treatment their disabled children have endured at the hands of those who are supposed to help them.
Mr. Ungar may believe that all this will magically change with the government fully in control of medical care, but like the Santorums, I don't buy it for a second. The same government that denies the humanity of the child in the womb will deny the dignity and worth of the disabled, the elderly, and anyone else whose "quality of life" is deemed too low to merit expensive care. With a limited pool of resources and bureaucrats interested in the bottom line -- not the dignity of the human person -- people will certainly be assessed according to their worth using a cost/benefit scale.
(While we're on the subject of allowing people to die because they're not useful to society, what about Terri Schaivo, Mr. Ungar? Actually, in her case, we didn't allow her to die -- we killed her. The people in charge of her "care" actually starved her to death. Surely you'd agree with me that killing Terri that way was utterly despicable. She was a human being, right? I mean, she wasn't a baby, so there can't be any question about her humanness. But she was disabled, so maybe I'm wrong there. Do we consider the disabled to be a little less human than the rest of us? No -- that would be despicable.)
As it is, most children like Bella don't make it out of the womb. The majority of babies found to have Trisomy 18 or Down Syndrome are aborted, often at the arm-twisting of medical professionals who make doom-and-gloom proclamations that the genetic condition is "incompatible with life" -- the very words spoken to the Santorums about Bella.
Rick Santorum is absolutely correct to point out that more prenatal testing, as Obama's mandate prescribes, will lead to even more babies being killed in the womb when their "defects" are discovered. A few prenatal tests can save the system a boatload of cash by eliminating expensive, disabled children. Back up a step further and it'll save even more money, says the White House: "Covering contraception is cost neutral since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services."
"Other health services"? That's code for pregnancy, prenatal care, and childbirth. Like I've said before, caring for a pregnant woman is expensive. Contraception is much cheaper. Besides, according to Obama's top science advisor, John Holdren, the United States government has a "responsibility to halt the growth of the American population."
Sorry, Mr. Ungar, but it's clear to everyone with eyes to see that Obamacare, with all its mandates and edicts, will not serve the dignity of the human person or respect life. We'll never have health care that honors human life until we as a society honor human life from conception to natural death. We fancy ourselves entitled to kill the tiniest children. We afford ourselves the power to decide who is human and who is not, who is worthy to live and who is not, so we can dispose of the ones we deem not. That's what is really despicable.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah! and MCH.
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